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Global warming crisis needs our attention

Dear Editor:

While we are deliberating about bumper stickers and dogs on trails, a silent, deadly, insidious death knell tolls, a harbinger of catastrophic significance for the Earth. Global warming has reached a crisis point. If unaddressed, rising global temperatures will trigger dramatic increases in extreme weather events and cause the oceans to rise, threatening all coastal cities, displacing hundreds of millions of people, and destroying thousands of species.

Scientists now know that catastrophic changes previously not expected until 2100 are happening daily, visibly, even as we speak.



– Ice is melting, glaciers are disappearing, along with the rivers that feed and bring water to billions of the Earth’s people, and the vast tundras frozen for millions of years are oozing up millions of tons of methane gas, emitting 20 times more global greenhouse gases than the burning of fossil fuels.

– Global temperatures rose 0.37 degrees Celsius in 2008, which is 20 times more than normal and 20 times more than the climate scientists say should be occurring.




– The Antarctic is now melting as fast as the ice shelf on Greenland, about enough to cover the entire state of Texas with 6 meters of water every 24 hours.

– 350 ppm of CO2 is what most scientists consider the threshold beyond which the dangers of global warming increase. We are now at 383 ppm and are expected to pass 400 ppm within a few more years.

Our generation’s decisions (within the next 10 years) will either lead our civilization onto a higher pathway or will condemn us. We have so egregiously violated our sacred trust on this planet that we will doom it to a Dark Age that we can’t even fathom if we don’t consciously and quickly change our ways. Our votes are the consequences of our unconscious lifestyle choices, creating the momentum of our doom.

Grateful as we should be that the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a bill Thursday to reduce America’s global warming pollution by 83 percent by 2050, this isn’t enough. If we don’t make decisions and take action within the next three years to make that kind of change by 2020, we’ll lose our chance to vote.

I urge you to follow progress daily at http://www.climateprogress.org.

Please check http://worldforum.org/forum.htm regarding an international gathering in Washington, D.C., in November 2009 to influence the dialogue at Copenhagen and the fate of our beloved planet: “Mobilizing to Save Civilization: A Ten Year Plan to Address Climate Change.” Speakers include Lester Brown, Rajendra Pachauri, James Hansen, Ervin Lazslo, Jane Goodall and hundreds more for an unprecedented mobilization of people and ideas to develop an integral approach to climate change.

We still have an opportunity to be world leaders in a great shift of consciousness and a green energy revolution if we seize the day.

Annie Flynn

Carbondale